November 3 - With the expectation that online poker will be legalized in the
US, MGM Resorts International and the Boyd Gaming Corp. have created a joint
venture with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc. This is the first
partnership with Bwin.Party, MGM and Boyd.
Based in Gibraltar, the online gambling giant, Bwin.Party will provide the
technology, together with its World Poker Tour and
PartyPoker brands. The new company will be owned by all three corporations
and will be based in the US, with the view to offer online poker services to US
According to Jim Murren, CEO of MGM, Boyd will own 10 percent of the company,
MGM will own 25 percent and Bwin.Party will own the remainder. Keith Smith, CEO
of Boyd revealed that each of the companies will run their own US online poker
service which will be powered by Bwin.Party technology.
Boyd, MGM and Bwin.Party Anticipate Legalized Poker
Jim Ryan, Bwin.Party CEO said, "It's all about preparing for the eventual
opening of the market. There's been an awful lot of momentum at the state and
Murren commented on the situation saying, "It's such a shadowy, amorphous
market today. We do know that millions of Americans are gambling online, we do
know that they're gambling billions of dollars, we know that the US government
is deriving no benefit from this, no job creation, no tax revenue and we know
that many are at risk."
Online gambling businesses are lobbying for regulations that would generate
tax revenue and create secure playing environments that would impede money
laundering, fraud and underage gambling. Congress is considering instituting
federal regulations that would permit US online poker.
Smith commented, "We believe that the right approach to offering legal online
poker in the United States is through a federal regulatory structure that
ensures the games are conducted with the greatest possible integrity and
security. Should Congress enact legislation to legalize Internet poker, this
agreement will allow us to partner with the world's most experienced and
prestigious online operator to offer a secure, fair and entertaining experience
for players in the United States."
Last year, Boyd reported that it took in approximately $2 billion. MGM
reported that it took in approximately $6 billion from its land-based
operations. Bwin on the other hand reported revenue of $716 million last year
and is the largest publicly traded online gambling business worldwide, and
stands to greatly benefit from this US online poker deal.
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